Quarantined Cruise Liners Pose Hidden Risk to Finnish ECA and Economy

(Bloomberg, Helsinki, 12 February 2020) The damage wrought by the coronavirus on the luxury cruise-liner business may hurt the economy of Finland more than most other countries’. The Finnish government has granted an “exceptionally high” number of export guarantees to cruise lines that have ordered luxury vessels from the Nordic country’s shipyards. So it’s more vulnerable than most to a slump in demand. The bulk of the guarantees involves just one industry and, because they exist outside the government budget, they’re largely excluded when calculating the state’s liabilities. But Finnish taxpayers are ultimately on the hook for as much as 11 billion euros ($12 billion) of credit risk stemming from these guarantees. Finnvera Oyj, the country’s export credit company, has guaranteed loans for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Carnival Corp.